Lawyer says city officer will be cleared
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | December 08,2012
A Middlebury lawyer representing a Rutland City police officer who became the subject of a criminal investigation this week said Friday he believed his client would be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“He explained to me what happened and I told him it was absolutely not a criminal act,” attorney Peter Langrock said, referring to his conversation this week with Officer Thomas Fuller.
The 26-year veteran was placed on administrative leave this week following what Rutland Police Chief James Baker called an “altercation” at Rutland Regional Medical Center on Dec. 1.
The details of that incident, which Baker said did not result in an arrest, have not been disclosed and Langrock said he could not talk about the case while a Vermont State Police investigation into the matter continued.
Hospital officials have said the incident did not involve a patient or staff member at RRMC.
Langrock did say he was confident that Fuller would be reinstated to active duty soon with little damage to his reputation.
“We’ve agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation and the suspension is only a matter of course,” he said. “His good name is strong enough that after 27 years as a police officer, he’ll be able to withstand a misunderstanding.”
Fuller, who was on duty at the time of the incident, was placed on administrative leave Monday — the same day that state police were asked to conduct an investigation.
A state police spokeswoman said Friday the case would be “thoroughly and completely investigated” and that no estimate for its completion was available.
State police said Friday that an investigation into another city police officer, Joseph Warfle, has been completed and the case has been forwarded to the Vermont Attorney General’s office.
Warfle, a veteran of more than 20 years, was placed on paid administrative leave in October and a criminal investigation was ordered to look into worker compensation he had claimed.
Officials with the Attorney General’s office, which will decide whether a criminal charge is warranted in Warfle’s case, could be reached Friday afternoon.